Source: The Hitavada      Date: 23 Jun 2018 11:23:53

THE fact that the whole of Srinagar city saw deserted streets for a day in response to a shut down called by separatist front Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) spearheaded by Syed Ali Geelani, Miawaiz Umer Farooq, and Muhammad Yasin Malik, shows how tough the task is going to be for the Governor of Kashmir Mr. N.N. Vohra in the days ahead to curb separatism and terrorism. The -shut-down- call got a massive response with almost nobody stepping out on the streets, thus giving a clear message to the administration about the tremendous sway the separatists seem to hold on the popular mind. Obviously, the Governor is going to find it extremely tough to implement anti-separatism and anti-terrorism policies of the Centre.

Seen from another and positive angle, the one-day shut-down indicated to the Government early on what steps may be needed to tackle the situation on the ground of reality in Kashmir. There is no doubt that such shut-downs may be seen off and on in Kashmir in the days ahead when Governor’s Rule is in place. Obviously, the Governor is not going to get daunted by such experiences. For, as he implements the national agenda, Mr. Vohra, a seasoned administrator particularly in Kashmir’s context, is not going to be cowed down. Much to the contrary, he is quite likely to hit back with harder force and teach the wrongdoers a lesson they would never forget but long to do so.

There, of course, are two aspects of the situation: In the Kashmir Valley, there are people who sympathise with separatists and are willing partners in their actions. Another aspect is that countless numbers of people are mortified by the fear of separatists who can go to any extent of violence against even innocent civilians. When such a fear psychosis exists in the society, a good Government can build a sublime edifice of trust on the very negativism as the foundation. Mr. N.N. Vohra is smart and seasoned enough to build his response accordingly.  Despite this positivism, it is clear to the nation that the task at hand is going to keep the J&K Governor busy beyond words. Separatism and terrorism have taken such a hold over the popular mind in Kashmir in the past some years that the Governor is going to find it tough to launch a fight-back.

However, there is no alternative to a fight-back. This can be achieved through patience as well as petulance. On one hand, the Governor will have to keep patience and keep acting as per a well-modulated plan of action. On the other hand, he will have to show utter disregard to the separatist designs and mount a counter-offensive that would make the separatists and terrorists run for cover. This suggestion does not imply a war-like situation, though. Yet, it does imply that the Government must not shy away from determined and ruthless action against separatism and terrorism. It is from this angle that the demonstration of their prowess by separatists is a welcome development. They have given the administration good enough a reason to take the toughest possible action, something the nation as such will appreciate with much vigour.

If the Governor resorts to a hard crackdown, every Indian will feel happy. For, it is a popular wish in India that the Government take the hardest possible action against separatism and terrorism in Kashmir. The common Indians want such an action -- of ruthless crushing of anti-national elements in Kashmir so that the State feels liberated in taking part in national mainstream’s flow. The common feeling all over the country is that any tough action by the Government will get a total national support. Such a mobilisation will strengthen the Government’s hands in Kashmir, something that is the need of the hour. Once it has taken the ultimate step of imposing Governor’s Rule in Kashmir, the Centre must not now cower under any pressure, open or hidden. It must go on crushing separatism and terrorism as if it is the last fight.